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)