Selected Words from the Writings of Otis Q. Sellers



The Word of God provides many paths of pertinent study for the interested believer. One of those paths is responsibly learning and using the proper definitions of many words, terms or phrases used throughout God’s Word.

The true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ needs to have a pattern of sound words to understand Scripture. As it says in 2 Timothy 1: 13, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” This glossary is designed to provide an index of words used in Scripture that have given translators difficulty, or words that have changed in their meaning with continual usage. The glossary form is also used to provide the reader quick alphabetical access to the words and references to SEED & BREAD articles for more in-depth explanations.

The symbol SB followed by a number represents the issue number of one of the studies in SEED & BREAD, written by Otis Q. Sellers (OQS), former Bible teacher and student.

One important point to note is that English is a living language and that its words are subject to changing meanings. However, words in ancient Hebrew and Greek are fixed in the past. Our job is to understand them. Since much of the Bible, especially in prophecy and in parables, is written in figurative language, both literal and figurative meanings are considered, stressing the contexts in which the words appear. Refer to SB099 Positive Biblical Theology.

By way of background, Sellers accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in 1920, when he was 19 years old. He went to Moody Bible Institute and became pastor of various Baptist churches in the 1920s. Being an ardent student of the Bible, he came into scriptural disagreement with the practices of “baptism” and “the Lord’s Supper.”

He came to the belief that continued study of the Scriptures required developing a strong basis in progressive revelation. The effort throughout the remainder of his life was designed to reveal the truth of God.

Sellers was meticulous in his methods and wrote a magazine entitled, The Word of Truth, of which 16 volumes and two additional issues were completed. At the age of 67, he decided to record his latest truth on Biblical subjects in the terse format of the four-page SEED & BREAD articles. Before his death, he completed 196 of the articles, publishing the first 100 in a single volume, and after his death, the additional 96 were published in a second volume. Included in this Glossary is also an INDEX to using those volumes.


ACTS DISPENSATION — The Acts period was a unique period of about 33 years following Christ’s death and resurrection, which was actually the blade and ear stage of the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:2630). This period was marked by many marvelous features, such as the visible gifts of the Spirit including the ability to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cleanse the lepers, and to speak in tongues. See SB006 The Biblical Gift Of Tongues, SB007 The Acts Dispensation, SB009 Truth Concerning Acts, SB019 The Charismatic Dispensation, SB044 Israel In The Acts Period, SB052 Tongues Are Languages, SB067 A Foretaste Of The Kingdom, SB177 Rightly Dividing Romans, SB178 Rightly Interpreting Romans, SB191 Examination Of Acts 3:19.

ANGEL/MESSENGERAngels consist of three special classes of created beings with superhuman and supernatural powers. Wherever you see the word angel think of them as messengers. The Bible describes them to be in appearance like men; however they do not seem to be subject to death. Paul describes angels in Hebrews 1:14 as “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be the heirs of salvation.” See SB050 The Powers That Be.

ANTICHRIST — The Greek prefix anti has the real meaning of “in place of’ or “instead of” Even today there are antichrists, in which people step in and take the place of Christ. Anybody setting up themselves as an intermediary between God and man takes from the honor and respect due our Messiah. Also activities, religious events and other things are substituted by men for real study of and belief in Jesus Christ. See SB161 The Antichrist.

APOSTLE — This word (Greek-apostolos) has a verb form, meaning to send. The word refers to one commissioned with authority, such as an ambassador from a foreign country. The disciples, for example, became apostles when commissioned (sent with power) to do His will. See SB005 What Does Apostello Mean, SB010 From Cana To Calvary, SB013 The Divine Commissions, SB116 I Will Build Me, SB131 Truth From Matthew 10:1-10, SB148 How Then Shall They Hear, SB149 Apostolic Expectation.

APPEARING — The word appearing means to blaze forth (Gk.epiphaneia, from the Greek word phaino meaning to shine forth, with the accelerative prefix epi). See SB037 What Does “Epiphaneia” Mean?, SB101 God Must Intervene, SB194 The Kingdom Is Coming.

APPOSITION — This is a grammatical tool in which a second noun is set beside another noun so that it explains and defines the first. See SB122 The Kai Explicative Principle.


BAPTISM — This word means identification resulting in a merger. The word is not a translation, but a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo, which comes to us from the old dyer’s art. It identifies the believer with Jesus Christ, in His death and His resurrection. For further material, see SB134 Concerning Baptism, SB135 What Does Baptizo Mean?, SB136 Baptism Means Identification, SB137 The Baptism Of John, SB138 Identification With The Holy Spirit, SB139 Identification With Jesus Christ, SB143 Baptism In Matthew, SB144 Baptism In Mark And Luke, SB145 Baptism In John And Acts, SB146 Baptism In The Epistles.


BODY — The word body (Gk.-soma) refers to organized substance. The key to its meaning is found in Colossians 2:17, where body is contrasted with the word “shadow.” See SB119 Body, A Word Study, SB147 Members Of His Body.

BORN AGAINBorn again (Gk.-genao anothen) refers to divine generation and literally means “generated from above.” For more, see SB093 Concerning “Born Again,” SB094 Generation From Above, SB095 Lessons From Nicodemus, SB103 Divine Election.

CALLED/CHOSEN — To be called may mean to name, or to command or to sound. But in many Scriptures, to call, (Gk.-kaleo) means to position, to appoint, to place, to name, or to designate. All these terms are synonymous, agreeing in the sense of declaring a person’s calling as being God’s choice for an office or position. See SB087 What Does Kaleo Mean?, SB123 Call His Name Jesus.

CHRIST /MESSIAH — These two words both mean the same thing: “the Anointed One.” The Israelites looked for their Messiah (Heb.messiach) who is the same One as the Christ (Grk.-christos) of the New Testament. See JESUS, IMMANUEL,

MEDIATOR, JEHOVAH and GOD/LORD. Also see SB012 This Generation Shall Not Pass, SB096 God’s Presentation Of Christ.

CHURCH — As much as we may be conditioned to it, this word church is not in Scripture. It is a bad translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which Young’s Analytical Concordance defines as “that which is called out.” It is derived from the Greek root verb, kaleo (to call), and in its simplest form means “out-called” or “out-positioned” for special service. See SB087 What Does Kaleo Mean?, SB097 What Does Ekklesia Mean?, SB115 Ekklesia Men, SB120 Ekklesia Truth, SB131 Truth From Matthew 10:1-10, SB141 More About Ekklesia, SB158 Those Turning From The Church, SB198 You’ve Gotta Have A Ceremony.

COMING — When we think of the Lord Jesus Christ returning to this earth, we think of it as Him coming to take His place as king. The normal word (Gk.-erchomai) just means to come, but the special word “personal coming” (Gk.-parousia) is said to be “a being alongside” or “a presence” (Young’s Analytical Concordance, p.188). This word parousia really is a personal presence, an appearance in an official capacity because of who He is and what He can do. For more detail, see SB020 The Jigsaw Puzzle Of Prophecy, SB024 What Does Parousia Mean?, SB025 The Parousia Of Jesus Christ, SB066 When He Shall Come, SB133 The “Parousia” In Matthew 24, SB192 Puzzling Parousia Passages.

COVENANT — A covenant is an agreement, and is a legal term to this day. It is an agreement between two people, but in God’s case, when Israel broke its covenant, He still confirmed it for His name’s sake (Ezek. 36:22). There are many covenants in scripture, from the first one made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 in which He promises, “to bless all the families of the earth through Abraham’s seed,” to God’s promise to raise David to be the king of the Kingdom when Jehovah raises and regathers Israel (Ezek. 37). See SB165 God’s Law To Israel, SB166 The Ten Commandments, SB167 The Terms Of The Covenant, SB168 Misconceptions Concerning The Law, SB169 The Broken Covenant, SB170 We Establish The Law, and SB171 Abraham’s Seed Today.


DAY OF CHRIST — This is the Kingdom of the Heavens or the premillennial Kingdom also known as the “Day of the Eon.” Paul says in Phil. 2: 16 how proud he is of these gentiles that he may rejoice in the Day of Christ. See SB054 Four Great Days, SB111 Before The Day Of The Lord, SB142 The Day Of The Eon.

DAY OF THE LORD — This refers to the time of the tribulation through the thousand year reign of Christ. It is the time of the end, when the indignation of God is poured out upon all the people of this earth who do not know their God, even after several hundred years of blessing in the premillennial Kingdom. In 1 Thess. 5:2, Paul warns them, even as does Peter in 2 Peter 3:10, that “the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night,” and they must be ready. See SB039 The Great Tribulation, SB040 The Great Testing, SB054 Four Great Days, SB110 The Lord’s Day In Revelation 1:10, SB111. Before The Day Of The Lord, SB151 Six, Sixty, Six, SB161 The Antichrist, SB162 The Mark Of The Beast, SB193 The Consummation Of The Eon.

DEATH — The principle of death (Gk.-thanatos) is a return to the former state. The body returns to the dust and the spirit (breath of life) returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7). See SB079 What Is Death?, SB082 What Does Sheol Mean?, SB083 If A Man Die, SB084 Is It Gain To Die?, SB085 Paul’s Desire To Depart, SB104 The Dying Malefactor.

DESTRUCTIONDestruction is the final end of the wicked man (Phil. 3: 19), “They are enemies of the cross of Christ whose end is destruction“. This means the same thing as perishing. John 3:16 says, “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.” See DEATH and PERISHING. For more see, SB079 What Is Death?, SB083 If A Man Die, SB184 What Does Gehenna Mean, SB185 More About Gehenna, SB186 What Does Destruction Mean.

DISPENSATION — This word means an administration, stewardship or method of dealing (Gk.-oikonomia). See SB023 New Testament Time Periods, SB056 Dispensational Truth, SB129 The Order Of Events, SB180 A Study In Dispensational Truth. DISPENSATION OF GRACE — God’s present dispensation of grace lies between Acts 28:28 and the epiphaneia or “blazing forth” of Jesus Christ which signals the beginning of the Kingdom (Titus 2:13, 2 Tim. 4:1). It is the time, today, in which we live and a time in which a silent God exhibits only love and favor, as divine intervention, to the undeserving, namely, all mankind. See SB004 Interpretation Of Philippians 1:6, SB011 The Importance Of Acts 28:28, SB023 New Testament Time Periods, SB053 A Psalm For Today, SB056 Dispensational Truth, SB057 The Dispensation Of Grace, SB058 Ephesians 1-Translation, SB059 Ephesians 2, SB060 Ephesians 3, SB061 Ephesians 4, SB062 Ephesians 5, SB063 Ephesians 6, SB064 God’s Present Purpose, SB065 Christian Individualism, SB129 The Order Of Events, SB179 The Gospel Of John


ELECT/ELECTION — This word (Gk.-eklektos/eklegomai) means “out-positioned” for a special service. God can elect or choose any man, but the man must submit to His call and follow Him. See CALL/CHOSEN, CHURCH. Also see SB065 Christian Individualism, SB103 Divine Election.



EVERLASTING — This is the adjective of the noun “forever” and has the same root which is “eon” (Gk.-aion, Heb.-olam, which means “to flow”). The term “eonian” (adj.) may refer often to that which is perpetual, but more than that it has the idea of that which “flows out” of God. See SB126 The Problem Of Aion, SB127 Olam And Aion, SB128 What Does Aion Mean?

EVERLASTING LIFE — This is defined as life flowing directly out of God.


FAITH/BELIEF — In today’s English, we can have faith or belief in a person, we can believe a fact, but we cannot say we are “faithing” in it. The words faith and belief are the same in the original language (Gk.-pistis,-eo). Faith is taking God at His word and responding accordingly. See SB100 The Glory Of Believing, SB105 What Is Faith, SB1O9 Faith Exemplified, SB112 The Centurion Of Capernaum., SB179 The Gospel Of John.

FIRSTBORNFirstborn refers to the ancient custom of sonship. It can be the male child born first, or the one positioned first and having the birthright (e.g. Jacob and Esau, Gen. 27). It can also describe an exalted position such as the sovereignty and preeminence of Jesus Christ. See ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, SON OF GOD and SB190 Firstborn Of Every Creation.

FOREVER/ETERNAL — This concept is the same as “everlasting” and refers to the outflow of God, e.g. etemal life refers to the quality of God given life (Gk.-aion, Heb.-olam). See SB126 The Problem Of Aion, SB127 Olam And Aion, SB128 What Does Aion Mean, SB142 The Day Of The Eon.

GENTILES — The term gentiles (Gk.-ethnos, Heb.-goi) always stands for the nations, while Israel, or the Jews, are the future nation-the people of God. See SB153 Cornelius, The Centurion, SB157 The Nations-Now Joint Bodies.

GLORY — The Greek noun doxa has many meanings and is derived from the verb meaning, “to recognize or esteem a person or thing for what it is.” This word stands for a condition or state, and not praise. Thus doxa can mean appearance, or reputation. See SB071 Earth’s Glorious Future, SB100 The Glory Of Believing.

GOD/LORDGod has many names in Scripture. Many of His names are connected with Jehovah in the Old Testament, as well as compounds of El and Jah. In the New Testament, He is known as God (Gk.-theos) and Lord (Gk.-kurios), but all of these really refer to Jesus Christ who expresses the invisible, inaudible God the Father to us mortals (psa. 145:10-12, Isa. 40:5–the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus Christ of the New Testament). See JEHOVAH and JESUS. Also see SB003 The Father And The Son, SB010 From Cana To Calvary, SB051 The Biblical Concept Of God, SB187 The Rights Of God, SB188 What Does “Ginomai” Mean, SB196 The Days Of God Upon The Earth.

GOSPEL — The word gospel (Gk.-euagglion

[evangelionJ) means “good tidings” or “good news.” This is the right message and a “good message” which fills a need. See SB163 The Divine Arrangement, SB179 The Gospel Of John, SB181 The Confirmation Of The Gospel.

GRACE — This is a love and favor that is totally undeserved (Eph.3:2). See SB060 Ephesians 3–Translation, SB065 Christian Individualism.

GREEK ALPHABET — The Greek alphabet is useful for working with the Greek interlinear Bibles (as the New Testament is in Greek) and has been included in SB117 The Greek Alphabet.


HEAD — In the past, the head of a column of numbers was the sum, likewise, the head sums up the human body. This term can also mean the front of a line or the leader of a group, but in Scripture, the word head is used most often figuratively where it means an outflowing source from God. See SB118 Head: A Word Study.

HEAVEN — The term heaven (Gk.-ouranos) refers to everything that is over or above, whether it is the earth, men, governments and even God. It often is a title for “God,” and in the plural form may also mean the beings of that exalted place, “the heaved ones.” See SB034 The Word “Heaven,” SB058 Ephesians 1-Translation.

HELL — This is a King James Version rendering, and study of the original words (Heb.-sheol, Gk.-hades) indicates that they mean the place of the dead (old Eng.-hell = grave, pit, hole). Another word for hell is (Gk.gehenna) a burning refuse dump (in the days of King Josiah outside Jerusalem) and is used as a figure for the second death. See SB082 What does Sheol Mean?, SB184 What Does Gehenna Mean?, SB185 More About Gehenna, SB186 What Does “Destruction” Mean?

HOPE/EXPECTATION — These words are the explanations of a single word (Gk.-elpis, Heb.-tiqvah) which contains the idea of being confident, to trust, and to expect confidently. In the KJV the word hope, like expectation, had its basis in fact, while today hope is only a wish. See SB071 Earth’s Glorious Future, SB073 Inheriting The Earth, SB004 The Believer’s Destiny, SB075 The Earth—Our Future Home.

IMMANUEL — This is another name for Jesus Christ and it literally means “God with us” (Matt. 1 :23). It is also spelled Emmanuel. See SB010 From Calla To Calvary, SB196 The Days Of God Upon The Earth.

IMMORTALITY — The word immortality (Gk.-athanasia) signifies that death is not working in us, just as the word “mortal” (Gk.thanetos) signifies being subject to death. See INCORRUPTIBILITY and SB132 Concerning Immortality.

INCORRUPTIBILITY — This means that without death working in us, we are incapable of being corrupted, (Gk.-aphthartos) i.e. not perishable.

JEHOVAH — This is the Hebrew name of Jesus Christ in relation to the covenant people of Israel (Yaweh or Jehovah). See GOD/LORD and SB002 The Lord Jesus Is Jehovah.

JESUS — The human name of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is a Greek form of the Hebrew Jehoshua/Joshua which means “savior” or “deliverer.” Jesus is the primary personality revealed in the Bible. He is the Creator, Elohim, the God of Israel, Jehovah, the Word or Expression of God, the Son of God, the King of the Kingdom of God, and for us today, the one Mediator, and propitiation for our sins. See CHRIST,

GOD/LORD, IMMANUEL, JEHOVAH. Also see SB018 Jesus Only, SB021 God Our Savior, SB123 Call His Name Jesus, SB159 The Deity Of Jesus Christ, SB163 The Divine Arrangement,