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. 41 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor September 2007
Thoughts from the Editor (page 1)
I rarely open up any of the messages forwarded to me via email—the barrage of jokes and stories and pictures that my friends seem to think I need. But I was intrigued by the title of one, and actually read it: Hell, as explained by a chemistry student, in answer to the question, “Is Hell exothermic or endothermic.” And no, I don’t know what that means but I found out. Does Hell give off heat or absorb heat?
I won’t share the whole definition but it starts out like this: First we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. Intrigued?
The whole idea of Hell is so bizarre yet, as the student says, most religions believe there is a place called Hell. Where does this idea come from? Not from the Bible. When you need to find out the Truth, you need to go to the Bible—not to Greek mythology, not to Jonathan Edwards or Charles Haddon Spurgeon or Samuel Rutherford, not to cartoons, not to the position of most churches. We go to the Book.
The theologians mentioned above describe a hell that is a fire that never consumes, where people cry out for mercy but it never comes, where devils with whips keep control, where Cain still leaps with pain. But a student of the Bible can research the Hebrew and Greek words translated hell in the King James Version (and other versions) or, those who feel unqualified to do such research or those who do not have the materials, can read what someone who spent his adult life searching for the Truth has said on the subject. The person I trust is Otis Q. Sellers, who writes about the subject in several issues of Seed & Bread (Nos. 76-84 and 182), in his booklet The Rich Man and Lazarus, and in his definitive work on the subject, Sheol, Hades and Destruction.
He says in a Seed & Bread message called “Future Punishment” (No. 182) the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades “have been flagrantly mistranslated in order to lend support for the idea that such a place [hell] exists.” According to Sellers, the word sheol is found 65 times in the Old Testament where it is translated “grave” and “hell” 31 times each and “pit” three times by the translators of the King James Version. He adds that the translators of the American Standard Version decided not to translate the word at all but kept it as sheol in every occurrence. But we still need a definition. It means “state of death.”
How do we know? As I have told my students so many times, if you don’t know what a word means, you try to figure it out by context. Maybe seeing the word once won’t help, but seeing it many times may make it possible to define the word without using the dictionary. In the case of sheol, we can look at it 65 times and every time the definition “state of death” fits.
Here are a few examples.
Genesis 37:35. The story is about Jacob who believes that his son Joseph has been devoured by an evil beast. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave [sheol] unto my son mourning.
Proverbs 5:5. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell [sheol].
II Samuel 22:6. The sorrows of hell [sheol] compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me.
Isaiah 38:10-11. These are the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah. I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave [sheol]: I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
Psalm 6:5. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave [sheol] who shall give thee thanks?
Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol], whither thou goest.
In Sellers book, Sheol, Hades, and Destruction, you can follow his search and look at every mention of the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades, as well as the word gehenna. You can test your interpretation of the place called hell against what the Scripture says. I invite you to go on the journey.
From the Director
In the management of the Word of Truth Ministry several changes have been made that will become more effective as time goes on. Mr. Milton Hammond Jr. has accepted his appointment as The Word of Truth Ministry’s financial officer. Together, Hammond and I are working to carefully transfer the financial responsibilities into his care and keeping. I am pleased with Hammond taking on this work that will relieve me of some of these duties. Hammond has a good technical mind, sharp on details. He has been a devoted Bible student for many years, and he also shares in the teaching duties of this Ministry. A good part of his days are involved in the care of his ailing wife Betty. Pray for Milt Hammond as you think of the work of The Word of Truth Ministry.
To all of you out there who DO NOT own a computer, Gwen Staiger, with the meticulous help of her husband, Jim, is producing MP3 compact disks (CDs) that can be played on any inexpensive MP3-CD player. You may already have a player in your car or home. Or, you may wish to purchase an inexpensive player which can be purchased in most retail outlets. Keep in mind that it must be MP3-CD compatible, as most and older CD players are not MP3-CD compatible. Our list of available recorded LA Tapes subjects and TL-Series audio, as well as Seed & Bread and Otis Q. Sellers’ (and others) Bible study read-only compact disks is growing, due to the diligent work of our Recorder Gwen Staiger. (See enclosure with the last Bulletin mailing; an ordering list will be sent upon request from the 228 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, California address if you desire one.) Our present list of available disks offers a good many Bible studies that could make up a small library for your listening and/or reading pleasure and Bible study. If you need more information, please feel free to write to this Ministry, OR you can place your disk orders with us or contact Mrs. Staiger at her new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her postal mailing address is Mrs. Gwen Staiger, The Word of Truth Ministry Recorder, 121 Wood Oak Drive, Joshua, TX 76058.
The existing twenty-eight tape recorded studies of the Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks have been reworked into two MP3 disks that accompany the charts and explanations of this preliminary study of Daniel’s ninth chapter. To those who have requested the study and are on the waiting list, your order will be filled at no charge. All others who want to order the study with compact disks, the price including shipping is $15.
A Notice About the Preliminary Studies of The Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks:
The Internet Corner
By Bob Hammond
The Word of Truth Web Site, www.seedandbread.org, continues to grow. The new Sunday Morning Bible Studies audio ministries by David Hettema and Milt Hammond have become a big hit among our viewers. It now includes four major topics, “Let Us Learn about God,” “Know Your Enemy—Satan,” “Kingdom of God Messages,” and “Jesus Christ, My Hero,” with more to come. Each topic contains ten 45-minute related messages and are offered free of charge to anyone who logs on to our Web site. For those who prefer to listen somewhere other than on their computer, we are also offering these topics for $7 each (one topic per MP3 disk), packaging and postage included. We are grateful for the creativity and hard work of Gwen Staiger, who put these materials together. Thanks, Gwen.
We have also added eight video clips of Otis Q. Sellers, excerpted from a videotape shot by Jane Sellers Hancock in 1987, just three months before his career-ending stroke. This was meant to be a demo tape, but we decided that it would be a wonderful addition to our Web site as it puts not only a voice with the studies but also a face. To us who knew him, although we know he is in the state of death awaiting resurrection, we enjoy seeing him when he was still robust in this life. Thanks to Mark Hammond for making these clips for us.
Our Web site is now 1-1/2 years old. We’ve gratefully observed that the number of viewers per month has risen from around 300 to 600, with readers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Poland, Germany, and yes, even Iraq.
We know this Ministry is not for everyone, as many of the things the Word of God teaches differ significantly from what many organized religions teach—and unfortunately, interest in the Word often comes in second. We request your prayers that this worldwide medium of communication remains a refreshing site for all those Christian Individualists seeking the Truth. Also, please spread this Web site’s name/identity to family/friends who also might be seeking the truth.
And we appreciate your interest, for we have many faithful readers whom we consider to be our core group. It is your encouragement that keeps us going strong and for this we graciously express our thanks.
We Get Letters
We dearly enjoy receiving correspondence from our faithful readers. Here are excerpts from some of the letters we have recently received:
“Thank you for the Ministry’s continued productivity. It is fantastic.”
“I always enjoy receiving and reading the Bulletin Issues. Thank you for them!”
“God bless you (all) for all the great work that you do in this wonderful Ministry.”
“I tried (going to) church, but never had the peace that I have when I pick up a Seed & Bread Study. I thank God for letting me understand the future of the coming Kingdom. I feel so blessed.”
“I read an old copy of “What is the Soul?” about 10 years ago, and it solidified my understanding of the Soul ever since.”
“Become, therefore, imitators of God as beloved children; and be ordering your behavior in love, even as the Christ loves you, and gives Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a fragrant odor.”
Our Honorary Agent
VOLUME 2, NO. 41, September 2007adminSandB