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. 45 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor October 2008
THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
Jane S. Hancock (page 1)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
When I was a child, this was the first verse I memorized from the Bible. Was it yours? I sang it too. As I was growing up, I attended Bible study classes regularly with my parents—twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week. I became familiar with the Bible and its contents. I memorized the names of all sixty-six books of the Bible so I could find them quickly and easily, even the little ones like Obadiah.
I missed an opportunity to become even more familiar with the Bible during my becoming-an-adult years. Bible was a required course in college but after one semester, I opted out because the minister who taught the class kept referring to the Old Testament accounts as stories which didn’t really happen. I should have stayed with the course and ignored his side comments.
I’m worried about the current generation of young people. I’m not sure they know even the most popular of stories—like the stories of Noah and Jonah. I’m not sure my own grandchildren know them. And if they do know the stories, do they know why God decided to destroy the people on His earth by causing a great flood? And do they believe it actually happened?
Otis Q. Sellers often said that the Gospel of John is the most important book in the Bible. I remember he thought it was so important that he bought copies of just the Gospel of John to distribute to the young people, including me, hoping that its slim format might encourage us to read the whole book. He told us this was the place for us to start, that “these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31). This is the only place in the Bible that a statement like this exists. It gives a reason why the book was written and why we should read it. Incidentally, over half a century later, I still have my copy of the Gospel of John that my dad gave me.
So why is this one book out of sixty-six so important? Acts 28:28 says, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” Since God says “they will hear it,” He makes it happen. He commissions John to write. That’s the first step. Before Acts 28:28 the words “the Kingdom of God is at hand” was a spoken message, inspired by God. After Acts 28:28 that same message, also inspired by the spirit of God, became a written message and John was the first one inspired to write.
This past month I was asked to judge some essays written by middle and high school students. The topic briefly was this: If you could go back in time or forward in time, where would you choose to go and why? Describe the people you would meet, the events that took place, and their importance. These essays took me everywhere—to pre-historic times, to the Renaissance, to ancient Greece, to the future. But several took me to Biblical times, so maybe my worry about the young people of today is unfounded. One young man said, “I want to ask Jesus questions. I want to see Jesus perform his miracles. I want to see his resurrection.” This young man is familiar with the Gospel of John.
So why is the Gospel of John so important? Let’s review a little of the context of John 20. Jesus had been resurrected. Thomas needed to see Him for himself in order to believe. He said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” When Jesus appeared among them, Thomas was able to do those things and then he said, “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:29-31).
The young people who wrote the essays have taken God at his word and believed the record of the miracles and the resurrection. They did not want to go back in time to prove to themselves that these events happened. Unlike Thomas, they don’t need proof. They already believe it. They just want to be in the presence of Jesus, to talk to him, to find out more. I hope they also know, or will know if they keep reading and studying, that these miracles, these signs written about in John, are descriptions of what life will be like during the Kingdom of God. David Hettema in his booklet, The 8 Signs of John’s Gospel, says, “The 8 signs of John’s gospel offer to those who read them eight opportunities for bringing about faith (belief) into their lives.” He also says, “Hidden in each sign is also the greater meaning of what God’s power will do in man’s earth when He rules the world.”
Our young people are not going to learn about these signs in school. It’s up to us to let them know that the next great era will be the Kingdom of God and in the Gospel of John we get a taste of what life will be like then. Thy Kingdom come.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
David R. Hettema (page 2)
Your recent response and gifts have made possible the reprinting of several of Otis Q. Sellers books that have gone out of print. We enjoy and appreciate your helping spirit.
Some Thoughts On “The Last Days”
Almost every one who studies Biblical prophecy has some difficulty with this term, the last days. Many Bible students and teachers see the phrase the last days and immediately visualize a period of time created by God for some special purpose. This is not Biblically true, God does not set them up, “the last days” are the natural end result of whatever events that have already occurred. After long consideration I believe that truly understanding it is quite simple, if we look at the meaning of the words. It is always true, in both secular and Biblical history, that in every period of time there is or will be a “last days,” or more correctly there will be “resultant days,” a defining period of time and conditions that follow as the result of what has gone on before.
When Jesus was reproaching the Scribes and Pharisees for the adamant hardness of their hearts in Matthew 12:38-45, He gave us a good example of how the Greek word eschatos, carries the meaning of “resultant.” This is a parable about a man who failed an opportunity in his life.
Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to my house from which I came”; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last (resultant) state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation (Matt 12:43-45, NASB).
The Resultant Days Of God’s Present
Dispensation Of Grace
Read 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (NKJV), using the word “resultant” to express the word “last” (eschatos) in verse one. This is a prophecy about men who fail the opportunity to achieve belief in the days of the dispensation of the grace of God.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
The companion word in the Hebrew is acherith (latter, last), and in Joel 2:28 the Hebrew equivalent is achar which means “afterward” (resultant), as Joel the Prophet writes about the coming Kingdom of God.
Joel 2:28-29 (NIV) says: And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
The day is coming when no one on earth will be able to resist the truth, when in His Kingdom the LORD Jesus Christ is presented as the King of all the Earth. ?
BIBLE STUDY AUDIO TAPES
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
WE GET LETTERS
“Our family came to know the Acts 28 message through the radio ministry of Mr. Sellers’ broadcast in Appleton, Wisconsin. My grandmother listened to the radio faithfully and realized she not only needed a savior but needed to know her Bible better. She broke from the Lutheran church and was more or less rejected by her entire family but being a strong German, she kept on reading and studying. Through my grandmother, her husband and children came to know the Lord. One of those children was my mother. My mother introduced my dad to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work and ministry. Through my mother and father three of their four children know the Lord. I married a wonderful Christian woman and our sons both know and love the Lord as do most but not all of their cousins.
My mother died April 10. At the funeral we received gifts from those who knew and loved my mother and father. We think there could be no better way to honor my mom’s memory than to give those donations to the ministry that started the whole family looking for the Kingdom and beyond.”
“Thank you all for keeping this ministry of searching out the truth going forword. It looks like the world is getting a lot worse before the Kingdom comes. Even if we were to die, may it be for the truth of the Kingdom and our great God even our Savior Jesus Christ.”
“Our Bible study is studying the 70 weeks of Daniel. Your charts and writings have been very, very helpful, thank you Dave (Hettema). The 70 weeks have been determined upon Israel, 490 years, no more no less. Our class really enjoys covering this material.”
“I . . . want to thank [you] for the Bulletin of July 2008 sent. I enjoyed all writings and ‘From the Director’ so good, also ‘Seed and Bread.’
My time with ‘The Word of Truth Ministry’ started in 1946 in Evanston, Illinois, at the Bible Fellowship there. I attended the so good Bible studies for 10 years in Evanston. Mr. Sellers taught 2 times a year. Then I moved to Ohio. I received all the written studies. I’ve been blessed with all the classes and writings.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3, NKJV
? BIBLE STUDY SATELLITE GROUP LOCATIONS ?
In Southern California (Los Angeles Area):
The Word of Truth Ministry, 228 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena; Sundays from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mr. David Hettema presides; Dr. Milton Hammond alternates. Hettema may be reached at (626) 794-0819. Hymn “sing-a-long” before service. “We continue studies based upon the Biblical records of our Bible, and written/spoken words of the late Otis Q. Sellers.”
In New York (New York City Area):
The YMCA, 125 W. 14th St. (between 6th & 7th Avenues), New York City, the last Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m. Mr. Luis Casillas, moderator. Contact Mr. Mike Steele by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. “We use O.Q. Sellers’ Seed & Bread leaflets (found on www.seedandbread.org) as a guide for our discussions.”
In New York:
Endicott, No regular schedules. Contact Mr. Robert Briggs at (607) 748-4870 for information.
In New Jersey:
430 Boulevard Ave., Pitman, Mondays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mr. Sam Marrone presides as host and may be reached at (856) 589-6256. Marrone notes, “Bring your Bible and a hunger for the Word.”
In Texas (Houston Area):
5847 Chinaberry Drive, Houston, Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 or 1 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Don Black are hosts and may be contacted at (713) 462-2250. “We usually listen and study one of Otis Sellers’ tapes.”
In Minnesota (St. Paul Area):
622 Selby Ave. (Room above Mississippi Market Food Co-op), St. Paul, Every other Friday, 6 p.m. Mr. Nathan C. Johnson presides and may be reached at (651) 737-0144 (work). Johnson encourages: “Please contact me, and come enjoy your time around God’s Word with our group.”
The LORD Makes Many Days
Joanne L.H. Johnson (page 4)
“This is a day that the LORD has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa. 118:24). The days always change. What kind of day are you having? What was yesterday like? What will tomorrow bring? “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34). Let’s talk about “days.”
The LORD makes many days. Some have peculiar time constraints. Some have special meanings.
Yet God’s days are different from men’s and women’s days. God is timeless and we have the restriction of time. We are confined to 24-hour days. So when God says He will do something in a day, it may be a thousand years from now. Take the days in Daniel for instance. The daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is one thousand two hundred and ninety days (Dan. 12:11). These days have yet to occur. Could it be a million years from the end of the writing of the book of Daniel? Thousands of years have already passed.
Then there are the days of creation. In six days the LORD created the heavens and earth and everything in the earth, on the earth, in the sky and in the seas and on the seventh day He rested. Question: How long did this really take? I just take it on faith that it took six days to create the world for lack of a better answer. “ . . . So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5, NKJV).
Then there are days like the Man’s Day, today’s period of time, and the Day of Christ, another synonym for the Kingdom of God. There’s also The Day of the LORD, which includes the entire 1000-year Parousia and the “little season” and the time period of the great white throne. And then there is The Day of God, which includes the new heavens and new earth, as found explained in Seed & Bread No. 54, The Four Great Days.
Today is another day. Otis Q. Sellers liked a certain Psalm of David, more like a prayer, Psalm 64, claiming that it was a psalm for today. This is because this psalm “describes conditions and situations that will exist immediately before God assumes sovereignty over mankind, before He deals directly and openly with all the workers of iniquity, and brings about a universal fear of Himself that shall bring great rejoicing from the righteous.” Read the details about it in Seed & Bread No. 53, A Psalm For Today. Today’s period of time is the Dispensation of Grace, as explained in Seed & Bread No. 57, The Dispensation of Grace.
Today’s time period, what the Apostle Paul calls “the present evil eon,” the Day of Man, is contrasted with what the Apostle Peter described as “the day of the eon” or the Kingdom of God. “The term ‘day’ here signifies a long period of time which will be characterized by the activity and prominence of ‘the eon.’” Read about it in Seed & Bread No. 142, The Day of The Eon.
The “last days” of the Dispensation of Grace describes another time period as shown in 2 Timothy 3. “It immediately precedes the divine assumption of sovereignty which inaugurates the Kingdom of God upon the earth,” as noted in Seed & Bread No. 14, What Are “The Last Days”? More information is found in Seed & Bread No. 16, Character of the Last Days.
Then, there are many “last days” in Scripture. See More Seed & Bread No. 273, Exploring the “Last Days,” by Milt Hammond.
The LORD makes many days. Let’s reiterate what we’ve learned. Some days are 24-hour periods of time. Some other days are unique periods in which God works with men in different ways. Some days are figurative days covering perhaps thousands of years in which God chooses to work or not work with unique men.
However, Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). The days may change but Christ never changes—he will always be the same no matter what occurs or happens in this world.