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. 48 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor July 2009
THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
Jane S. Hancock (page 1)
You know him as Otis Q. Sellers, the founder of The Word of Truth Ministry. I know him as “Dad.”
Since in this Bulletin we are advertising the publication of two books by Otis Q. Sellers, Seed & Bread, Volume I and Volume II, I thought you might like to know something of the history of these volumes and how involved four generations of the Sellers family have been along with other volunteers from The Word of Truth Ministry.
For three decades he had been publishing a magazine, The Word of Truth, but in 1971 he began writing four-page leaflets on various Biblical subjects, each one under the collective title of Seed & Bread. He wrote on legal-size yellow tablets with a Parker fountain pen, turning the pages over to me to type. Every few months Mother and Dad and I and a few friends, including David Hettema and his wife Norma, would gather in my parents’ dining room, kitchen, and mail room to send out an issue of the Bulletin along with three or four of the Seed & Bread studies, hot off the press. We called them “stuffing parties.”
By 1978 he had written one hundred. Readers were asking for complete sets. We needed to do something, but what? Although each one was numbered, there were no page numbers. Could we put them into a book form? Could we make the books ourselves? We could.
We now had “collating parties.” There were two ways to do this. Both ways took many dining room and kitchen tables and card tables. Stacks of each issue of Seed & Bread were lined up in order and we “danced” around the tables picking up one at a time until we had a collection from No. 1 to No. 100 in our hands. Another way was to reverse the process by deciding how many we wanted to make, say fifty for example, lay out in rows fifty copies on No. 100. Then put fifty copies of No. 99 on top of those fifty, and so on, until we reached No. 1 on top. We put rubber bands around them, placed them in a box, to be trimmed and bound. We collated, family and friends, several thousand books.
And Dad was still writing. He wrote until he had his stroke in 1987. By then he had reached No. 199.
After his death five years later, we knew we had to take the remaining ninety-nine issues and put them together in an easy-to-handle volume. The collating parties continued. We bought a spiral binding machine and large plastic combs. We recruited more volunteers: Gary Harrison; the Hammond family.
Storage became a problem. We were running out of supplies. How many should we re-print? Was this the best way to handle the wealth of material? The original manuscripts had been type-set. We had no electronic storage of these studies. What to do.
Bob Hammond scanned all the issues and put them on our Web site, seedandbread.org. But we were still getting requests for the spiral bound volumes, which meant more and more collating parties.
I now want to introduce the third and fourth generations who worked on this project. All of my five sons helped when they could. As a teenager, son Russ Hancock worked in the Word of Truth mailroom when my dad was alive. Stuffing envelopes and mailing packages. Russ now has children of his own. His oldest son, Jason, was beginning college. Could Jason take the scanned Seed & Bread leaflets and put them together in some way to make an attractive book? Could he eliminate the heading and footer that was on each issue? Could he make all the titles the same font? Could he add some decoration to make the finished product look really good? Could he get it “publisher ready?” He could and he did—over college winter break, December 2007, 2008.
Last month the first copies arrived from the publisher—paper back and hard back, real books with ISBN numbers, a publisher. I’m buying seven sets right away—one set for me, one for each of my five sons and one set for Jason.
That’s how we get things done at The Word of Truth Ministry. We hope you enjoy the books.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
David R. Hettema (page 2)
In March of 1979, Bible teacher Otis Q. Sellers produced a Seed & Bread Bible study leaflet No. 105, entitled What Is Faith? In this article as part of his study he wrote this definition of the word faith: “Faith is taking God at His Word and responding accordingly.”
This definition has become a treasured key to many of Sellers’ Bible students. It opens the Word of God to related truths about how a man can be saved: For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8-9, NKJV).
We are saved because God is gracious, but it is through faith (a word or words from Him) that we can believe and respond accordingly to achieve the reward of faith.
Try using this key, faith is taking God at His Word and responding accordingly, to open up Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. You will see this principle applied to every life experience of the honored believers mentioned in this faith portion, from Enoch to Noah and down the line to the most recent martyr.
Each individual mentioned had a Word from God to respond to, such as Abraham and his wife Sarah: By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb. 11:8, KJV). Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful Who had promised (Heb. 11:11, KJV).
Another example of someone in the Gospel period taking God at His Word and responding accordingly is found in Matthew: A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy (Matt. 8:2-3, NIV).
The three people of faith mentioned here, Abraham, Sarah and the leper, all followed the principle of “Faith is taking God at His Word and responding accordingly.” This is still true today.
NEW SEED AND BREAD BOUND VOLUMES
By Bob Hammond
Several years ago we embarked upon a special project to take all 199 of Otis Q. Sellers’ Seed & Bread short Bible studies and place them into spring-coil-bound volumes after assembling them manually at our headquarters in Pasadena, CA. The amount of time required to continue that manual process just became too time consuming. Also, we found that we can provide these volumes in a much better-appearing book form (with chapter numbers instead of issue numbers) and at about the same cost to our readers as our “manual labor” versions have been.
We think you will like this new six-inch-by-nine-inch format with easy-to-read type. Our prayer is that every one of these 199 studies in Biblical truth will continue to open up the Word of God to those who are hungry for the truth of God’s Word.
Our prices will be for the soft cover edition $25 per volume with postage paid and for the hard cover edition $30 per volume with postage paid. On all orders please indicate how many of and which volume (Volume 1 or 2) and edition (soft cover or hard cover) you would prefer.
These books will be suitable for giving at any time of the year, because “truth knows no season.”
Board of Directors
Word of Truth Board Member
Gwen Staiger, with
Her husband Jim,
Visited The Word of
Truth Ministry on
Sunday, June 14.
From left to right:
Gwen Staiger, Jane
Robert (Bob) Hammond.
WE GET LETTERS (page 3)
“I go to the Bible Study at Sam Marrone’s house every Monday night and I enjoy it so much. What a blessing it is to find fellow believers that believe the same as you do—I am learning so much.”
“I’m always glad to read of news of the ministry and Bible study. I’m listening to the Bible study by Mr. Sellers. I’m on 2 Corinthians. They are all so good. I’m glad to have them.”
“Thank you for your faithfulness and commitment to the Word of Truth. We all benefit!”
“Keep up the best work going on this side of the coming Kingdom of God.”
“I so appreciate being on your mailing list and receiving your Bulletin and enclosures. You are my ‘lifeline to sanity’ with regard to rightly dividing the Word of truth in these days. Your steadfastness in sharing the Word of Truth study results is much appreciated.”
“We appreciate the diligence of the Word of Truth Ministry in declaring God’s Word, especially in these times. As prophesied, people are increasingly turning ‘itching ears’ to the pleasantries of Rick Warren and others like him and to the casual versions of Scripture that they espouse. Yes, we have congregations like this here, just as in Southern California.
“We enjoy receiving bulletins of the Ministry in the mail. Our compliments to Jane Hancock and Joanne Johnson for their work in making the bulletins interesting as well as informative.”
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
ATTITUDES FOR THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST FOR THE KINGDOM
By Joanne L.H. Johnson (page 4)
What do you think we should prepare ourselves for in the future? Should it not be attitudes for the believer in Christ for God’s future Kingdom?
I have asked myself that very question many times as I ponder what the future Kingdom of God will be like.
Let’s start with “the Beatitudes.” Matthew 5:3-10 (NKJV) gives us excellent attitudes for the future kingdom: “Blessed are the poor in spirit (happy are those who know their need for God), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek (humble), for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I have a New American Standard Bible. On one of the front pages my dad wrote, “This is the book of the coming Kingdom of God.” Otis Q. Sellers wrote those same words on the first page of his Bible. Why? Because it is the subject of the entire Bible. It is the only way that we can prepare ourselves for God’s great Kingdom. And that is in line with getting to know who and what God in Christ is all about. Like it says in 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Now, an attitude that is necessary for the future Kingdom of God contains two things:
1) The love for God in Christ,
2) An openness for learning new things.
We show our love for God when we worship Him in spirit and in truth: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24, NKJV). Now, that openness for learning new things is why Christ said to His disciples not to turn away the little children when they were brought to Him, because we all need an inquisitive mind like a little child for God’s Kingdom: “And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:15-17, KJV). Jesus wanted us to have an open mind to learning new things in the kingdom.
However, He also wanted us to have faith in Him. Our faith in Jesus Christ makes us obedient to God’s desire that we become submissive and pursue His wishes. It says in John 1:12 (NASB) that “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe (have faith) in His name.” This passage implies that all who have placed their faith in Him already are His children and He will acknowledge them.
In warning for the kingdom, these verses below describe the mental preparation for the believer of today. God wants us to grow in respect of salvation: “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:1-3, NASB). God gave us freedom to love our neighbor as ourselves: “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:13-14, NASB). God gave Himself up for us: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:1-2, NASB). God has dealt graciously with us: “And do not be grieving the Holy Spirit of God, in which you are sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and fury and anger and clamor and slanderous speech be taken away from you with all malice; and become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, dealing graciously with one another, even as God also in Christ deals graciously with you” (Eph. 4:30-32, Seed & Bread No. 61, Ephesians-Chapter Four, The Resultant Version).
We try to do things pleasing to God for today as well as the future Kingdom of God: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:18-22, NASB).
We should also keep these particular precepts which supercede the commandments of the Law which He gave when He was on earth: “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us” (1 John 3:23, NASB).
Let us observe worshipping and pleasing our God in Christ and be found prepared with open minds and attitudes for the future Kingdom of God.