THE WORD OF TRUTH MINISTRY
228 NORTH EL MOLINO AVENUE, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91101-1675
Otis Q. Sellers, Founder David R. Hettema, Director
VOLUME 2, NO. 36 JANE SELLERS HANCOCK, EDITOR JUNE 2005
Thoughts from the Editor
Jane S. Hancock
I sit in a church in Phoenix, Arizona. The family has gathered for the “celebration” of Sheri’s life. Sheri, who died just three days before, had a malignant brain tumor, and her death was not unexpected.
The church is full. More than three hundred people gather here.
I have tissues in my hand, just in case, but they are not necessary. Although I know what the “world” believes about death, to hear it said over and over stuns me. As the minister speaks, as each person stands to say a few words, the message is repeated: “Sheri is in the arms of Jesus. She is happy now. She is in heaven. She wants you to be with her. She waits for you to be with her. She looks down and sees us.”
I am uncomfortable. I can’t cry. If going to heaven was what she wanted, why did she fight so hard for four years to stay alive? And if going to heaven is so wonderful, why do we all fight so hard to stay alive? According to the Bible, death is an enemy. Death is the end of life, not the beginning. This truth is rejected by the world.
I think of the religious and secular pictures of heaven (and hell, too), the images. Would I really want to leave earth and go to a place where I walk on clouds, sprout wings, balance a halo on my head, wear white flowing robes, and seem to have nothing to do except look down on earth and wish that all my friends were with me? Would anyone really want that?
I’d rather be dead. I’d rather be in the ground waiting resurrection. God’s answer to death is resurrection: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor. 15:22).
In a newspaper article, Otis Q. Sellers said this about death and what the world believes: “… most professing Christians are living in a constant state of ignorance and unbelief so far as God’s revelation concerning death is concerned. They refuse to inform themselves, they close their eyes to all Biblical facts, and thus they stand as truth rejecters in the sight of God….
“The salient Biblical fact concerning death is that it is the end of life, not the beginning of a new one. In other words, the Bible teaches that the dead are dead until they are raised from it. If this is not true, then death is meaningless and resurrection is more so. If death is a reality, then resurrection is also.
“The widespread view is a philosophy that makes death to be the open door or introductory event to a larger and fuller life. Thus the role of resurrection is assigned to death. This is not right” (see One-A-Day, page 26).
If the role of resurrection is not assigned to death, why then remove people from this euphoric state and bring them back to earth? Resurrection becomes meaningless.
At Forest Lawn in Los Angeles are two graves, the graves of Otis Q. Sellers and his wife, Mildred. I am content knowing my parents’ remains are there. I am content because I believe that the dead are dead. Isaiah 38 tells of the death of King Hezekiah. Isaiah the prophet delivered this message from the Lord: “… Thus saith the Lord, set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live” (Isa. 38:1).
Moses said to Israel,”… I have set before you life and death,… therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live” (Deu. 30:19). I am content because I believe in the resurrection of the dead and I know some day, during the Kingdom of God,
that will happen and we can be together again on this earth. No halos, no harps (except at the Philharmonic), no clouds to walk on, just God’s green earth as it should be—a world in which absolute justice prevails, where things that are wrong have been set right. That’s a picture I can see. That is what I believe.
For further reading on the subjects of Death and Resurrection, we recommend the following, written by Otis Q. Sellers:
Seed & Bread No. 79, What Is Death?
Seed & Bread No. 80, Concerning Resurrection
Seed & Bread No. 82, What Does Sheol Mean?
Seed & Bread No. 83, If A Man Die?
Seed & Bread No. 84, Is It Gain To Die?
Seed & BreadNo. 183, What Does “Torment “Mean?
Seed & BreadNo. 184, WhatDoes “Gehenna”Mean?
Seed & Bread No. 185, More About Gehenna
Seed & Bread No. 186, WhatDoes “Destruction”
Six Messages on the Resurrection Sheol, Hades and Destruction The Resurrections The Rich Man and Lazarus
From the Director David R. Hettema
The Word of Truth Ministry is pleased to have the opportunity to send with this Bulletin a copy of our latest booklet, The 8 Signs of John’s Gospel. The booklet deals with the eight exclusive miracles that God’s Spirit inspired the Apostle John to present to men as the bridge or path to know Jesus Christ as the Creator/Savior/Almighty God, the One Who graciously forgives the sins of all individuals who read and believe this amazing record.
All names on our mailing list will receive a copy. If you want additional copies, they will be available from The Word of Truth Ministry at $4.50 each (see page 48 hi the booklet for ordering and shipping information). Our purpose and prayers concerning this booklet are that many people will come into contact with the Word of God through it. Sadly, many church members, even many who claim to be “Christians,” are blind to the fact that it is not a relationship with a church that brings eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, but a freely given relationship with God, brought about by just “believing the record God has given of His Son, Jesus Christ.”
I want to preface the good news about our computer web site by assuring all of our readers who do not have computers that we will always continue to supply everyone on our mailing list with printed copies of any and all material offered on the Internet. Please send your requests to The Word of Truth Ministry home office hi Pasadena.
We are presently planning to go forward with the new and expanded web site for the Word of Truth Ministry. Bob Hammond and his team of unsung, hard working experts have prepared a tremendous amount of Otis Q. Sellers’ written and audio materials that will be displayed and available to personal computer users all over the world. This long-planned change is being activated because the present web site is proving to be increasingly limited and obsolete. There will be some new initial costs and continuing maintenance fees that are reasonable and acceptable to the Board of Directors. All those involved with the preparation of the Internet project have given of then- time and talents without remuneration. We urge everyone who is moved to support this expanding Ministry to encourage them with your financial help.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where
moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and
steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in
and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will
be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)
In Memory of Mrs. Hettema
Friends of The Word of Truth Ministry will be saddened by the news that Norma Hettema, wife of Executive Director, David Hettema, died Thursday, June 16, 2005, after an accelerated cancerous illness at the Huntington Memorial Hospital hi Pasadena, California. Her husband and children—Pete, Susan, Kathy and Phil—were at her side when she expired. She leaves four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Ten days before her death, she attended the Sunday Bible Class, sharing with us a present she had received for her 82nd birthday celebrated earlier—a wonderful book of pictures of the newest great-grandchild. We will miss Norma sitting hi her familiar spot hi the second row, her friendly greeting, and her interest hi anything important to anyone of us personally. Perhaps, most of all, we will miss her constant support of her husband, who has carried on the work of The Word of Truth Ministry. Norma was his life companion, his anchor, and his confidante.
A memorial service was held on June 25,2005, at the home of her son, Pete Hettema. She now awaits resurrection hi the future kingdom of God.
BIBLE STUDY AUDIO TAPES
By Otis Q. Sellers, Bible Teacher
The entire Tape Library (TL) series, consisting of numbers TL-1 to TL-570, is available on cassettes. A complete list of subjects may be obtained from the home office in Pasadena, CA, or by writing or e-mailing:
The Word of Truth Ministry
Mrs. Gwen Staiger, Recorder
121 Wood Oak Dr., Joshua, TX 76058
Our Honorary Agent in Great Britain
See the informative web site from “across the pond”! Our honorary agent, George T. Morris, has available a supply of Word of Truth materials. A list of materials and prices will be sent. Please write to:
We Get Letters
Compiled by Jane Sellers Hancock
“I do so enjoy all the bulletins and studies that you send. I am so thankful for the many years we had Mr. Sellers as our teacher and think now of how very clear he taught the Word, week and after week. I always looked forward to every week when it was time to not only meet for our class but we were able to visit with Mrs. Sellers and Jane when she was a young child… I love the booklet filled with Seed & Bread leaflets and have read them over and over and never tire of them because they are new every time.”
“Excited about the release of the MP3s. Will be ordering after I purchase the proper CD player. Was amazed to hear that Seed & Bread is translated into Dutch. You never know what good things will happen.”
“God bless all of you in the fine work of knowing Christ better each day.”
“I do not think I have heard a better speaker with more Biblical information than Milt Hammond” (regarding his tapes on the book of Revelation).
Comments from people who received advanced copies of Dave Hettema’s new booklet, The 8 Signs of John’s Gospel:
“We enjoyed the little book. Will keep it for our great grandchildren.”
“I received your latest [advanced copy of the] booklet, The 8 Signs of John’s Gospel. I have read it and find it very good…. I’ll be glad to receive the second booklet and will give it to someone. I’ll later send my request for additional copies.”
The Dutch Lachai-Roi Web Site
Read Seed & Bread and One-A-Day in Dutch on the European web site: www.lachairoi.org. Johan Hansen and his son Arnoud translated these Otis Q. Sellers’ writings because they appreciate his independent studies and find answers to unsolved problems.
By Bob Hammond Work On New Web Site Begins
Now that we have almost completed digitization of the written words of Otis Q. Sellers and are about 60 percent complete with conversion of his “TL” cassette library to MP3 disks, we feel it is time to move ahead with an updated web site for this Ministry. The web site name will remain the same: www.seedandbread.org.
We have recently contracted with a Christian web site developer out of Tennessee, and are excited about the capabilities we should be projecting in the not-to-distant future.
We understand that such web site development will cost approximately $2,500 or more. Still, we are attempting to keep costs down with ever-rising inflation.
Whereas our present, limited web site only costs about $200 per year, we estimate that the new web site will cost more—around $400 per year.
If you desire to see and hear more of Sellers’ Bible studies, booklets or CD recordings on our web site, kindly consider helping this Ministry with your financial gifts. We extend a gracious “thank you” to all those who initially responded to our call in the last Bulletin.
Reader Questionnaire and E-mail Address Results
Many thanks to all those who responded to our last Bulletin “reader questionnaire.” Your responses to our last call for your e-mail addresses resulted in over 70 people being added to our Word of Truth e-mail address book. We’ve now sent out five messages, along with four of Mr. Sellers’ Word of Truth magazine issues, and we have plans for more.
For those who have no access to e-mail, we will still provide Bulletin mailings, publications and other materials for your convenience.
We know that more of you out there either have direct access to the Internet or know someone close (such as family or friends) who does. If you would like to be included in our e-mailings, kindly send us your name and the e-mail address to whom you’d like us to send our newsletter. As we have done in the past, our address information remains strictly confidential. We invite you to come join us on the Internet!
What Does God Desire of Us?
By Joanne L.H.Johnson
Recently, I went to the Santa Fe Springs city library and found myself intrigued with its modest magazine section. There I read through a copy of the May 2005 issue of Christianity Today, published by Christianity Today International. It described current problems in Africa and Lebanon; it commented on the Terry Schaivo case; it discussed teenage sexual problems; it communicated other church problems— it even had an article on Wal-Mart! It grieved me that much was said without some mention of Jesus Christ!
Some articles referred to one Bible verse here or there, but where did they use God’s Word for any real inspiration? Even though it covered many of men’s controversial issues fairly, what does God really desire of us?
Micah 6:8 says: “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” And for what purpose are we here on Earth? Should we someday glorify our magnificent Maker and Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ; the One who is “the Word (logos)” of John 1:1? He is verified as “with God” and “was God” in the second verse, and the next three verses explain what He did in the beginning of the world, that His life “was the light of men,” and that His “light shines in the darkness” and couldn’t be (and hasn’t been) extinguished (John 1:2-5).
We are all born with an ingrained knowledge that there is a being higher than us. Our parents or those who raise us may or may not have taught us about this “higher being.” Or perhaps, later on, someone mentions something to us about this “higher being,” who takes on a name as “God” or “Jesus Christ.” Who is this “higher being”?
What does God’s Word teach us? In the beginning (Gen. 1:1), since God is the author of all perfection, He created an awesome, absolutely beautiful, habitable world, full of numerous, wonderful air, ground and sea creatures, besides countless magnificent species of grasses, plants and trees. Then (it could have happened the next day, a thousand or millions of years later) something terrible happened which apparently destroyed it (Gen. 1:2). The possibility exists that Satan was to blame for this (Isa. 14:17). And God gave us a record of how He reconstructed His Earth, including the creation of the first man and woman (Gen. 1:3-2:25).
Then, the first horrendous event transpired on the recreated Earth. “Sin” came into the world as a result of Adam’s initial disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1-12), caused by Satan (Ezek. 28:13-15). That “sin” resulted in an appointment for all people born thereafter to die, commonly called “the curse of death” (Gen. 3:17-19).
The second horrendous event was the flood in Noah’s time. People multiplied, “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (Gen. 6:1-2). Their progeny was the giants of old, who were a mixed, sterile race (Gen. 6:4). Men had become more evil and sterile with each generation some years after Adam, turning from God (Gen. 6:11-12). However, one man believed in the Lord: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8). Scripture records what God instructed Noah, what was accomplished (building of the ark), what transpired, and what concluded after the earth was flooded (Gen. 6:13-8:22). It even records God’s promise to mankind, specifically that He would never flood Earth again—His spectacular rainbow (Gen. 9:11-17)!
However, mankind remained cursed with death and needed to be redeemed.
God, who is so awe-inspiring and gracious, provided the means with the audible and visible extension/expression of Himself through Jesus Christ. His birth and descriptions of His suffering were predicted in the Old Testament (such as Isa. 9:2,6-7; 11:1-5,10; 42:1-7; Psa. 22:1-2, 6-7, 13-18). The Apostle Paul speaking on Mars’ Hill in Athens to Jews and those of the nations (commonly called “Gentiles” in the KJV) proclaimed the “unknown God,” and clarified specifically who Christ is (Acts 17:16-31). Paul also taught that: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare .. . that He might be just (righteous), and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:22-26).
And how can we glorify God today? By immersing ourselves in the Word of God and attempting to understand Him more fully (2 Tim. 2:15). Unlike Christianity Today, everything published at the Word of Truth Ministry attempts to honor and glorify God. Do we care about conditions in Africa and Lebanon? Yes. Do we have opinions on the Terry Schaivo case? Yes. Are we concerned about teenage problems? Yes. But, how are these more important than knowing God in Christ? Our greater purpose should be endeavoring to glorify God in everything we do and say.
And this provides the REAL reason we should be found praising, extolling, glorifying and honoring God in Christ each and every day of our lives, while remaining on Earth: “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon His Name: make known His Deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works. Glory ye in His Holy Name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face evermore.” (Psa. 105:1-4).