BULLETIN

 

THE WORD OF TRUTH MINISTRY

228 NORTH EL MOLINO AVENUE

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91101-1675

 

Otis Q. Sellers, Founder  ****  David R. Hettema, Director

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Volume 2, No. 49 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor November 2009

 

THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR

Jane S. Hancock (page 1)

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And Heav’n and nature sing,
And Heav’n and nature sing,
And Heav’n and Heav’n and nature sing.

It’s a balmy early October evening in Los Angeles, so why am I thinking about Christmas carols? Because I know that you won’t be receiving this Bulletin until November and there won’t be another one until after the first of the year, so if I want to write about Christmas, now is the time.
I’m also thinking about my grandchildren and perhaps I’m writing this for them, but you are welcome to read this as well. Maybe it’s a good thing that schools, public places, are no longer permitted to include Christmas carols and Bethlehem pageants that refer to the birth of Jesus, because then children don’t have to unlearn facts that are not true—like, for example, that there were three kings. Could be, but we don’t know that.
You can find the record of Jesus’ birth by reading Luke 2:1-20. And when you read that record you discover that no one saw the angel or heard the angel’s message except the shepherds. No star appeared in the sky over Bethlehem. The shepherds did not follow a star because it wasn’t there. No wise men were present. They didn’t arrive until over a year later. We find their story in Matthew 2:1-16.
The night of Jesus’ birth the star appeared in the East. We don’t know where in the “East.” We don’t know if they were kings. We don’t know how many saw the star. We don’t know how many made the trip. The number “three” probably is based on the gifts they brought—gold, frankincense and myrrh. Travel in those days was difficult and slow. When they finally arrived in Jerusalem (not Bethlehem), they asked, “Where is He that is born of the Jews?” When the wicked King Herod questioned them about when they saw the star, their answer let him know that the child was probably between one and two years of age. Herod sent them off to find the young child and at this time the star appeared again. We don’t know that it led them to Bethlehem. It certainly didn’t lead them to a manger. Luke tells us that the child was in Nazareth so that is probably where the star led them. They found Him in a house—no animals, no shepherds. Just Mary. And they presented their gifts to their King.
As the story continues, the wise men did not go back and report to Herod, which made him angry, and that was when he ordered all children under two years of age in Bethlehem and near Bethlehem killed.
In 1939 my dad, Otis Q. Sellers, wrote a little pamphlet called, “Let Us Now Go Even Unto Bethlehem.” I was a child but I learned then the true story. And even though I sang with enthusiasm at the Christmas pageants about angels singing (in more than one carol), I knew there was only one angel who said, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” And then a host of angels joined the first angel, “praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Notice, no mention of harps.
What is missing from all these carols is an emphasis on the word “Savior.” “For unto you is born . . . a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
In 1939 Otis Q. Sellers had not yet discovered the truth of the Kingdom of God. I started out these thoughts by quoting the first verse of the Christmas song, “Joy to the World,” words by Isaac Watts, music by George F. Handel. In an old songbook from my dad’s collection is this comment, penciled in above the song’s title: “We can apply verses 2, 3, 4 to the Kingdom of God.” How true! A time of joy, a time without sin and sorrow and curses, a time of truth and grace and righteousness—on earth!

Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, and wonders of His love.

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FROM THE DIRECTOR

David R. Hettema (page 2)

I want to share with you a newsworthy Word of Truth activity deserving of your attention.
In our Word of Truth Pasadena location, we are holding a series of Wednesday Night Bible Classes that will present the reality of the coming Kingdom of God as the next great event in God’s revealed plans for this earth. The Bible class consists of seven consecutive illustrated Bible studies, which began on October 7, 2009 and continues through November 18, 2009. On our wall-mounted whiteboards at the front of the classroom we are displaying the Kingdom of God’s Order of Events Chart [based on Otis Q. Sellers’ original chart]. The studies begin with the evidential proofs of the promised Kingdom from God’s Word, promises that He will suddenly and peacefully establish His great government upon this earth, positive words that He will rule over all of earth’s nations, setting His righteous judgments and blessings upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
We are teaching the first events of the Kingdom such as the sudden miraculous physical changes in all the living. These are the eye-openers for the first-time hearers. All humans that acknowledge a Supreme Being are hungry to know the “when” and “where” of their personal judgment. The Scriptures that speak of the kingdom clearly set forth an opening judgment when every individual will either be ushered into the kingdom or separated from it. Jesus Christ, the Judge of all the earth, will separate the unworthy from the worthy. They will then inherit their portion and enjoy the myriad of blessings in the Kingdom of God.
An important tool for this midweek Bible class is The Kingdom of God 101: A Primer, a new book by Louis J. Tonetti, a long-time believer and supporter of this ministry. We are using this book in our weekday Bible classes as a reference textbook, alongside the Bible.
The author has searched out and gathered every portion of Scripture in the Bible that has to do with the Kingdom of God from the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament. Every reference appears in its Biblical order and the author’s helpful and enlightening commentary make the book a valuable tool for all who are interested in the truth of the Kingdom of God from the Scriptures.
For anyone desiring Tonetti’s softbound book, The Kingdom of God 101: A Primer, it is available from The Word of Truth Ministry for $20 and includes postage.

 

Everyday of the week there is some activity related to The Word of Truth Ministry and our testimony here in Pasadena, California. I want to extend to all on our mailing list the expressed gratitude of the Board of Directors and myself, that we are encouraged by your faithfulness and your love of the truth. Add a “thank you” from those who attend the Sunday Bible study classes. Thank you!

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WE GET LETTERS (page 3)


“The Bible study messages that I now listen to are ‘Truth From Jeremiah.’ They are very interesting. I am so thankful to have them.”

“Your ministry has been a great inspiration to me over the years. Thank you.”

“[This donation is] to further your great work in getting out the rightly divided God’s Word.”

“Really enjoyed the fellowship last weekend [6-14-09 in Pasadena, CA]. Always nice to be with all of you.”

“The Word of Truth Ministry has been my foundation in [the] truth of God’s Word for many years.”

“I thank you for your continuing [the] Bulletin and accompanying literature. I value it highly.”

“I’ve so much appreciated the recordings of Mr. Sellers. I’ve listened to ones on Ephesians. They are so interesting. Thank you again.”

“He [my deceased husband] always read Otis’ material immediately upon its arrival. Then, after my reading it, we would discuss it—and realize how much more we had to learn.”

“To all who work unselfishly to present the truth, thank you for the recent mailing [April Bulletin]. I enjoy your newsletters . . . . I have listened to the MP3 disks from [TL-] 1-200 and am ready for more.”

“We appreciate all that The Word of Truth Ministry does in keeping us informed.”

“For Father’s Day, my wife gave me an iPod with all of Sellers’ commentaries and the L.A. group [Sunday Morning Bible Studies]. Mrs. Gwen Staiger was kind enough to download all of this information into the iPod.
[But] these are my real treasures:
There was a king in Israel [David] that when things went against him, he would turn his back on those things and turn to God and prayer.
I believe that Psalm 88 is a kingdom psalm. Psalm 88 carries instructions as to what to do if we are ever being punished by God [actually sin is in the world] with any sickness. If we want to continue to live under [future] kingdom conditions we are to pray and praise Him always.
During this time of grace we should live for God to learn about Him and to learn about His intentions to govern this planet.”

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BIBLE STUDY AUDIO DISKS

By Otis Q. Sellers, Bible Teacher


The entire Tape Library (TL) series, consisting of numbers TL-001 to TL-570, is available on MP3 compact disks. A complete subjects list may be obtained from our Web site, www.seedandbread.org, or the home office in Pasadena, California, or writing/e-mailing:

The Word of Truth Ministry
Mrs. Gwen Staiger, Recorder
121 Wood Oak Dr., Joshua, TX 76058
E-mail: gsrecorder@sbcglobal.net

 

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SITTING ON THE RIGHTS OF GOD

By Joanne L.H. Johnson (page 4)

 

Why is it that Scripture always uses the term “the right hand of God”? What does it mean to sit at “the right hand of God”? Should it be more accurately translated “the rights of God”? Let us explore some portions of texts.
John Ribbens wrote More Seed & Bread, No. 212, “On the Right Hand of God.” In it he gives numerous examples of what sitting or standing “on the rights of God” means.
He says in the leaflet: “The expression ‘on the right hand of God’ found in Ephesians 1:20 is a fairly common New Testament occurrence. The phrase “right hand” which comes from the Greek word dexia is translated this way 39 times. The word “hand” which forms part of this phrase is simply not found in the Greek text. It has been supplied by most translators in an attempt to clarify the meaning. I am not opposed to the use of the term ‘hand’ provided the student understands that this is a figurative use of the term and not a literal description of where Christ is sitting.”
Ribbens continues:  “These verses  [below] demonstrate the consistent use of the term ‘glory’ which has nothing to do with a physical place, but everything to do with the recognition of who and what Christ is. A careful unbiased study of the phrase ‘right hand of God’ will demonstrate that this is exactly what the meaning of the term ‘glory’ is. Read Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3, 13; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; and Hebrews 12:2. This term en doxa speaks of the right which God has lavished upon the Son. The suggestion that at this moment Jesus Christ is sitting on a chair at God’s right hand is absolutely unscriptural.”
Otis Q. Sellers wrote a Seed & Bread, No. 187, titled, “The Rights of God.” He explains with other examples what he means by “sitting on the rights of God.” In it he says: “The English word ‘right’ has many meanings. . . . ‘Right’ means the opposite of ‘left,’ it also means the opposite of ‘wrong.’ It means fit and suitable, also actual, genuine and real, etc., etc.
“This multiplicity of meanings is also found in the Greek word dexios. This word has 73 occurrences in the Greek New Testament, and if each one of these carefully considered it will be found that there is one important meaning of the word dexios which translators of the New Testament have failed to recognize. This is when the word dexios (right) designates the fundamental claims which a person or other entity can properly make; that is, something to which one may lay claim to and is entitled to do so by the principles of morality, by grant, by the laws of the land, or by purchase. . . .
“For example Mark 16:19 if translated literally and truly should read: ‘The Lord, indeed, then after speaking with them was taken up into heaven and is seated on the rights of God.’ If this is done a noun (dexion) is not treated as if it were an adjective, a plural is not changed to a singular, and no word (hand) is inserted into the text. Thus, it can be seen that if the Lord Jesus is not seated on the rights of God, this is because He is God. . . .
“When we come to the next reference (Matt. 26:64) which reads ‘sitting on the right hand of power,’ but should read, it being plural and no word for ‘hand’ is found in it ‘sitting on the rights of power.’ This is true to the Greek and true to the truth, inasmuch as the Lord Jesus had declared: ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth’ (Matt 28:18). Power has its rights, and He to whom power is given has every right to take to Himself the rights that go with such power.
“From this passage it can be seen that the word dexios can mean the fundamental claims that a person or entity can properly make, as set forth in the first part of this study. Thus, when we come to Mark 16:19 where the word dexios is plural (dexion), and there is nothing to show that the word ‘hand’ is in the text, this passage tells us that the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven ‘and is seated on the rights of God.’”
I have come to believe that God is multi-dimensional and has no right or left hand. We only understand Him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who J. B Phillips called “the expression of God” in John 1:1: “At the beginning God expressed Himself. . . .”
Let us understand what the real meaning is of the term “on the rights of God” from the aforementioned. And let us be clear in our explanations and definitions and be found ever looking for the truth of Scripture.

 

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